NGC 6544 & NGC 6553 -- Globular Clusters in Sagittarius
Two Globular Clusters near the Lagoon Nebula
About a degree southeast of the Lagoon Nebula (M8) is the globular cluster NGC 6544.
Continue another degree in the same direction and you reach the globular cluster NGC 6553.
NGC 6544 is the brighter of the two and appears granular in my 110mm refractor. NGC 6553
is dimmer and except for a slightly brighter core appears featureless in the small refractor.
These two globular clusters would be observed more often if they were not located south of the
impressive Lagoon Nebula. When the Lagoon Nebula is visited by amateurs the normal route
is north to the Trifid Nebula (M20) and then onto M21 a large conspicuous open cluster. Next
time you are in the area of the Lagoon Nebula, resist going north and instead push your
telescope south. Two attractive globular clusters will be waiting for you.